In an in-depth and exclusive discussion with FlightGlobal, Akbar Al Baker, chief executive of Qatar Airways Group, explains how the coronavirus pandemic has affected his airline.

The Qatari flag carrier has been forced to ground over 40% of its 240-strong fleet – much of which will not return to service, says Al Baker. The airline is also deferring its near-term orders and Al Baker warns the aircraft manufacturers not to try to force the delivery of new aircraft while the industry endures such a severe crisis.

Al Baker outlines how Qatar Airways has continued operating during the crisis by quickly adapting its business to meet the sudden demand for cargo capacity. He also provides an outlook on how the airline will gradually restore operations and is addressing passenger health requirements during the pandemic.

Al Baker also explains how Qatar is approaching its global investment strategy and gives his latest thoughts on the airline’s membership of the Oneworld alliance, confirming that he may still leave the group if certain conditions are not met.